The best discounts you can get as a college student
Take notes because there will be a quiz on this next week. Frugality lesson 101: College students, the ".edu" domain linked to your university e-mail can nab you some great discounts. Also, it’s worth carrying around your student ID card because that, too, can save you some serious cash. Anything to help to temper that student-loan debt, right? Not to totally bum you out, but about 68 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients graduate with student loan debt, according to the Project on Student Debt, a report from the Institute for College Access and Success that relied on data from 2015. The average debt of those who graduated with debt was $30,100 per borrower, according to the study findings. Oof! With the start of the school year approaching, we’re taking a look at some of the best discounts college students can get.
1. Dorm registry items
Taking a lead from the wedding industry, college students can now create “registries” for all the things they need for their dorm rooms. Put those extra-long twin sheets and dorm decor on your wish list at Target, and anything your friends and family don’t snap up for you, you can get at a 15 percent discount.
2. Amazon Prime
You can buy just about everything you need from Amazon - from the textbooks on your required reading list to, say, a “bunk buddy bedside shelf.” College students can sign up for Prime Student, which will give you a free six-month trial. For the uninitiated, Amazon Prime members get free two-day shipping, access to Amazon streaming and access to free books and magazines. Students will also get special student discounts. If you decide to stay enrolled after six months, you’ll be 50 percent off your Amazon Prime subscription.
3. Insurance plans
Many students ditch their cars in favor for public transportation while in college. You may want to consider if you can take a sabbatical from driving while in college, given that most college towns are walkable, have bikes to loan out for free and usually have good public transportation. But if going car-less isn’t an option—say you’ve got a long drive to an internship or you’re a commuter student—be sure to look into what kind of discounts your insurer offers. Getting good grades (typically at least a B-average) can translate to a discount with most major insurers. Allstate, for example, offers a discount up to 20 percent for good grades.
A good rule of thumb: Always check with retailers to see if they offer a student discount. Even small boutiques and thrift shops will be willing to slash 10 or 15 percent off your purchase. But, some stores that are known for giving discounts by using your student ID in store and, sometimes, your “.edu” e-mail address if you’re shopping online. These deals include 15 percent off at J. Crew, 15 percent off at Ann Taylor, 15 percent off at Madewell and 15 percent off at Banana Republic.
Again, it’s always worth asking if restaurants extend student discounts. While the discounts aren’t typically advertised online, your student ID can often get you 10 percent off at fast-food chains like Burger King, Dairy Queen and Subway, according to money-saving websites like RetailMeNot and blogs. We’ve also heard rumblings that you can get a free soft drink at Chick-fil-A by showing your student ID. (I inquired about this at my local Chick-fil-A, and they confirmed).
When it comes to software, the discounts extended to students tends to be large. For example, Adobe offers 60 percent off Creative Cloud to students and teachers. Norton will give students a free 90-day trial on antivirus software, as well as other discounts.